Fonds 4116/12 - Haemmerle Family Fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Haemmerle Family Fonds

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Reference code

CA MUA 4116/12

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Physical description

1.0 m of textual record ; 1040 photographs ; 190 photo negatives ; 1 film, 3 sketches ; 1 painting ; 1 leather pouch

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Alfred R. Haemmerle was a Russian citizen. His ancestors, Dutch-Alsatians by origin were driven out of France during the French Revolution and settled on the shores of the Black Sea. His great-grandfather, Jean-Charles Haemmerle, was the pioneer builder of the port and City of Odessa. Alfred's father, Jean Haemmerle (1824-1894), a wealthy exporter of grain and wool built the Port in Berdiansk, South Russia and became the Lord Mayor of the City. Alfred R. Haemmerle was born in 1875 in Berdiansk, graduated with B.Sc.from the Russian college, and was also educated in France and Germany. He started his career in Russian commercial banks and five years later he opened his own import-export business. He accumulated land and was the Director of the largest Farm Implement Plant in Russia.In 1907 Alfred was one of the organizers of the Central Bank of Mutual Credit Societies in St. Petersburg, and from 1909 to 1916 he acted as assistant manager. He became president of the Credit Bank in Habarofsk, Eastern Siberia, and represented Eastern Siberia in the Standing Committee of the Council of Russian Trade, Exchanges and Agriculture. The largest part of his capital was made as a broker in precious metals. The Russian Revolution of 1917 forced him to leave the country with his wife Amy (1887-1957) and son Anatole (1908-1986). After travelling through Vladivostok and Tokyo he finally settled in Montreal in 1920. He became Canadian citizen in 1928. Throughout the Second World War he served the Postal Censorship Board in Ottawa using his language skills. Anatole was briefly at McGill, where he helped to establish the McGill Light Aeroplane Club in 1926. After serving the Army in the war he moved to Massachusetts, where he was employed in insurance.

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Scope and content

The Haemmerle family fonds reflects the life of Russian emigres in Canada and consists mainly of correspondence in Russian (1919-1960) to and from Alfred Haemmerle, his wife Amy Waht, and other family members, particularly their son Anatole. The fonds contain numerous photographs of family members and events (1904-1960), photo negatives, a small number of family documents from the 19th century, genealogical notes, newspaper clippings, postcards mainly from Japan, maps and correspondence from the 19th century in Russian dealing with Haemmerle family as well as the Larssen family in Denmark, who were Alfred's maternal relatives. There are also letters to Anatole from his aunts in England and Japan. Included are also lectures and writings by Alfred Haemmerle on cooperative banking and related subjects, financial notes, diaries, receipts, wills, deeds and newspaper clippings also in English. Aside from the photographs, the non textual records include an ink sketch, a pastel sketch Enid signed by A. Dickson Patterson, a sketch of St. Lawrence River signed by C.B.K., a small still life painting of pots, one leather pouch and one small box.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Dr. Susan Curtin on February 16, 1988


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Script of material

Language and script note

English with some Russian.

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Box Listing available

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Handwritten and typescript.

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